Corona pandemic: research in the humanities and social sciences on epidemics

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Since the beginnings of the corona pandemic, members of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” have conducted wide-ranging research in the humanities and social sciences on epidemics in the past and present. Under the title “Epidemics”, Cluster members have looked at the changing interpretation of epidemics in the past and present from the perspective of many disciplines and epochs, and have investigated how religious, political, and scientific communities and institutions have dealt with epidemics from antiquity to the present day. Members have brought a great deal of expertise to the public debate on the current corona pandemic via their media contributions: for example, texts and interviews on fundamental moral questions and the suspension of basic rights, on epidemics in earlier eras, on whether the crisis is a trigger of cohesion or division, on rituals and fears, and on the relationships between science, politics, and the media.

We invite you to read a collection of print and online media, as well as radio and television contributions, from different disciplines and perspectives.

You can also soon read up on the results of the interdisciplinary research in other public formats, such as the website dossiers “Religion and conspiracy theories in the time of the corona epidemic” and “Epidemics: perspectives from cultural studies”. The former focuses on the connection between religion and conspiracy theories, with the topics ranging from conspiracy theories in London 300 years ago, to conspiracy in the arts, and to theoretical reflections on possible structural analogies between conspiracy theories, science, and other interpretations of the world. The latter shows in short text and image contributions how all kinds of media and the arts have portrayed epidemics from antiquity to the present day, and how they have influenced the perception of time, space, and visibility at different periods. (sca/vvm)